After a restful summer break, I hope you are ready for what 2018-19 school year has in store for all of us. I am excited to begin my second year at Ridgecrest with all of you. My first year as a Raider was fantastic. The students, the staff and the parents are incredibly bright, focused and dedicated and this is one of the many things that make this a truly special school for everyone and I am so honored to be able to be your principal here.
I learned quite a bit in my first year as a middle school principal. Many of the observations that I made last year helped me reflect on my goal to make each year better than the last. This year, one of the areas that I want to focus on is ensuring that everyone feels safe, welcome and connected at Ridgecrest. To kick this off, our 8th grade WEB Leaders will welcome the 6th graders at Camp Ridgecrest and for the rest of the year, they will help ease the transition from elementary to middle school. The team has been preparing to make this year a memorable one. Most importantly, 6th graders will immediately have at least a couple of older kids with whom they can connect and reach out to on campus. All of you will also notice the rollout of our . These tickets, given out by all employees on campus, are our way of recognizing your efforts to be Responsible, act with Integrity, and be Safe. These tickets will be redeemable for opportunity drawings and special events throughout the year. Our goal with these tickets is to highlight and reward those positive behaviors that we would like everyone to exhibit at Ridgecrest.
As I mentioned before, one thing that makes Ridgecrest great is its bright, focused and dedicated students. After my first year, there was no doubt in my mind that our kids leave Ridgecrest ready to face the challenges of high school. I know how stressful, competitive and rigorous it will be for all of you in high school. While I encourage you to do the best in everything you do, I want to make sure that your experience at Ridgecrest is not overly stressful but that you also discover what it will take for you to achieve your academic goals.
I also recognize that sometimes the challenges that you face in middle school can become overwhelming and we want you to know that we are here to support you. One of the ways that we do this is through our counseling team. This year, we are excited to introduce our new counseling model, which will help our counselors better meet both your academic and social and emotional needs. Our new model will divide the student body into two parts by alpha. All students whose last name begins with A through Lee will have Ms. Allen as their primary counselor and all students whose names begin with Leidig through Z will have Mrs. . Your counselor will be able to support you with whatever issue you might have. Whatever support you need, your counselor is there for you. That said, we also want you to know that our entire staff, from teachers to paraeducators and secretaries to custodians, are always ready to lend a hand (or an ear) if you need someone to talk to or help you with anything.
I am so proud of everyone who makes Ridgecrest the great school that it is. I look forward to working with all of you to make this year the best yet.